COUNTRY people are enormously proud of where they live.
Their little towns were hacked out of the wilderness as memorials to the boundless optimism and energy of the early pioneers.
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To squeeze rural towns into their spreadsheets, the number-crunchers in Canberra somehow settled on a figure of 200 people.
Anything less and a little town officially merges into the landscape.
Australia may have retreated to its coastal cities but those people still living in the bush remain fiercely loyal to their communities.
They fight tooth and nail against the drift of population - they will do almost anything to keep the pulse beating.
It could be battles like keeping the post office or the police station; then there are dozens of smaller fights to keep the school bus routes open, the roads graded, or an extra computer for the school.
Dozens of Victorian towns have bought and now run their own general stores.
Some invest heavily in their local footy clubs, a drawcard for their youth and a source of unity for the community.
There is a touch of the Anzacs, Banjo Paterson and Santa on the back of the fire truck to love about our country towns.
For bean-counters to compute a town out of existence is beyond the pale. Country people fear they will be overlooked for funding because they no longer qualify as a town.
Residents are outraged.
There was no warning, no consultation, no comeback. No one to even get angry with.
People need not get themselves into a lather about what new name they should be given - village, hamlet, or blink-or-you'll-miss-it.
They will always be towns, whether they have 200 people, 199 people or 20 people.
Anywhere a few homes come together in a community with perhaps a sign on the local road announcing it as such that's more than enough.